We agree with the James Harrison approach. Participation trophies should be returned. A trophy handed to every kid just for being there has no place in shaping our competitive edge or engaging us to do better. Now, you would think that as a trophy company, iwonmyleague would lobby for a trophy in the hands of all. That would mean much higher sales, right? But we have standards, too, and we think you should earn awards through continuous improvement and not by simply showing up.
The biggest trophy wholesaler in the U.S. sells and ships over $50 million worth of trophies each year, a strong portion of which get distributed in bulk to various Little Leagues and other youth programs around the country signifying that those organizations aim to hand out a trophy to everyone who signs up. Here at iwonmyleague, well, we don't ship quite that much, but we know that those who do receive a trophy for winning their fantasy league have earned it, and that makes it almost as special for us as it does for those who get to hoist it to their mantle at the end of the season. Can you imagine handing a trophy to the guy in your league who consistently fails to set a lineup or barely even taps the waiver wire all season? With our crew, it's win your league, get a trophy.
James Harrison made a simple but bold statement this week when he opted to send back his kids' participation trophy. And we can't help but to applaud that move as it sends an important message that grinding it out every day is "rewarding" but not necessarily "awarding". Anyone who has ever studied for an exam or scored a touchdown or created art can tell you that you get out what you put in. To be the best at what you do means a combination of hard work through practice, the desire to be coachable by those who have experience, a need to find creative ways to improve and out maneuver your opponent, even if that opponent is at times you. Sometimes, it even means having the courage to try new challenges and forge new paths for your yourself when your first path doesn't succeed. When one succeeds after this level of commitment, that trophy becomes much more important, much more meaningful as a symbol to a great accomplishment.
Harrison's words: "sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy." The official iwonmyleague response to Mr. Harrison: "true dat!" And for your bold statement, Mr. Harrison, just contact us and we'll ship you a Leatherhead free of charge. But first we'll need to see proof that you won your league.
Order a mantle-worthy trophy that is guaranteed to have meaning in your fantasy league right here. Don't pick one that you know you share with some Little Leaguer who simply made it to most practices.